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What are poisonous mushrooms?
|Amanita pantherina is one mushroom you don’t want accidentally ending up on your plate. Photo by Wesley Ivins, Creative Commons 2.0.|
Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of certain types of fungus. There are dozens of types of mushroom that commonly grow wildly in the eastern United States. Some of them are edible, but others can be very harmful if you eat them.
Young children may unknowingly put harmful mushrooms in their mouths while exploring, while older children may eat wild mushrooms thinking they are safe, or in showing off or responding to dares.
Adults sometimes pick harmful mushrooms to eat, thinking they are safe.
Some common harmful “lookalike” mushrooms that we hear about at the Northern New England Poison Center are:
What are the symptoms of mushroom poisoning?
Most harmful mushrooms are stomach irritants, which means that if you eat one you may:
These symptoms will usually show up within 30 minutes, but may take longer. In some cases, they can be quite severe.
More dangerous mushrooms may take 6 hours or more to cause symptoms. The symptoms may start with diarrhea or stomach cramps. These mushrooms can make your kidneys or liver stop working. You could need a transplant or even die.
Other types of mushrooms can cause hallucinations or make you feel anxious. People occasionally eat these by mistake, but more often become sick after eating them intentionally to get high.
What should I do if a child has eaten a wild mushroom?
What should I do if I’m having symptoms after eating wild mushrooms?
If you are having symptoms after eating a mushroom that you or someone else foraged, call the poison center right away at 1-800-222-1222, chat online or text POISON to 85511. As above, be ready to tell the poison center where the mushroom was growing. We will ask you to take pictures if you have any mushrooms remaining.
|If someone has passed out or is not breathing, call 911 right away.|
How can I prevent mushroom poisonings?
Further reading from our blog:
Last Updated: Wednesday October 11th 2017